There are six types of Infected in The Last of Us, however, not all of them will appear in the first season of the show. Here are the zombie types:

These are the names given to the different stages of Cordyceps fungus infection. Unfortunately, this fungus is highly infectious, with no cure yet to be discovered.

At the beginning of episode 2, we start to learn more about Cordyceps, and we are introduced to the medical field that may one day stop the infection.


The Runners are the first type of zombie we are introduced to in both the game and the show. Just as their name suggests, they move quickly.

This type of zombie is in the first stage of infection and are people who have only recently come into contact with the fungus. This is usually within two days of contact.

Runners are the most human-like infected type, with even their moans remaining human.

types of infected Last of us Runner
Credits: HBO


The second stage of infection will turn Runners into Stalkers. It usually takes between two weeks to a year to reach this stage.

These zombie types keep the speed and vision of runners but are much more aggressive. Noticeably, Stalkers will have fungal growths growing on their head and faces.

They also make a distinct noise similar to croaking. This type of infected will often run and take cover, showcasing agility and stealth before pouncing on their target.

This is how Stalkers gained their names.

Stalker a type of infected Last of us
Credits: HBO


Clickers are the third stage of Cordyceps infection. It takes around a year for an infected subject to reach this stage.

They get their name from their echolocation ability as they make clicking sounds to bounce sounds off objects and make their way around.

Due to the infection Clickers are completely blind. Also, because the infection has spread to destroy the face of the subject, it makes them tougher to kill as the brain is protected by more layers.

This type of zombie is extremely intelligent and will check every possible surrounding area whenever they hear something around them.

Clickers have been exposed to the fungus for a prolonged period of time, which also gives them increased strength compared to an average human.

types of infected Last of us Clicker
Credits: HBO


Bloaters are the fourth stage of Cordyceps infection and are quite rare to find. Infected will take years to reach this stage.

These zombie types are very strong and intimidating in size. This is due to the infection creating thick layers which act as armor plates.

Bloaters are extremely aggressive but will move very slowly and can be uncoordinated. These are also blind and use echolocation, but due to the thick layer of fungus deforming their faces, their ability is much less effective.

Credits: Naughty Dog


Shamblers are an alternate fourth stage of infection. It is a mutated Bloater that has formed due to high exposure to water.

This zombie type is covered in spores and sprays a gaseous acid whenever someone is close to them. They typically move slowly but are capable of sprinting.

Due to the spores covering their body, their mouths are permanently opened meaning they are unable to bite.

Once killed, Shamblers will violently explode releasing a ton of spores into the air.

Although Shamblers are unlikely to appear in Season 1 of the Last of Us show, there is also a chance they do not appear at all. This is due to the show changing one significant detail relating to spores!

Credits: Naughty Dog

Rat King

The Rat king is a super organism that is a combination of Stalkers, Clickers, and a Bloater. All of these zombies have been connected by Cordyceps infection.

The Rat King possesses high strength and can easily smash through objects. In the game, it is suggested it took 25 years for the Rat King to be created by the fungus.

After being fought and hurt, some of the zombies that formed the Rat King can break off and have traits shared with other infected types.

For example, a Stalker can become detached and have the characteristics of a Clicker.

types of infected Last of us Rat King
Credits: Naughty Dog

The Rat King appeared in The Last of Us Part II, making it unlikely to appear in the first season of the show. While Season 2 has not yet been announced, there is some good news about the possibility of a second season.

Staff Writer
Scott is a passionate writer, who has now combined two of his favorite things - video games and journalism.